Digital Supercluster advances four COVID-19 projects
April 22, 2020
VANCOUVER – The Digital Technology Supercluster is investing $60 million to deliver solutions to some of the biggest health and safety problems created by COVID-19. Four weeks ago, the Supercluster invited its network of over 500 organizations to submit ideas and proposals to address COVID-19 issues. Canadian companies responded, with over 300 submissions currently under review.
“Through innovation, Canadians will create and deliver leading technologies to overcome issues created by COVID-19 and to position us well to rebuild our economy in the future,” said Sue Paish (pictured), CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster.
Since launching its COVID-19 Program, the Supercluster has advanced four projects – each making a meaningful contribution to the health and safety of Canadians.
For example, Toronto’s DNAstack has developed a new cloud-based network that will allow researchers from around the world to safely and securely share data as they research ways to improve the world’s ability to diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients.
Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, alongside its partners, is developing a new tool for decision-makers to better forecast emerging pandemics. By predicting regional needs and allowing for fast and effective planning we can have targeted deployment of resources.
Feeding our front-line healthcare workers is critical. Food-X Technologies is leading the development of a hyper-efficient e-grocery management system to make sure that our healthcare workers, the elderly, and others who cannot access fresh food, receive top quality, groceries while also ensuring food security for Canadians throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Variational AI is working with adMare BioInnovations to apply generative artificial intelligence to identify approved medications that can be repurposed to rapidly create treatment options for COVID-19 patients.
“An effective therapeutic for COVID-19 may already be available today,” said Handol Kim, co-founder & CEO of Variational AI Inc. “At Variational, we’re using our state-of-the-art generative artificial intelligence to rapidly find the best COVID-19 therapeutics among all these approved drugs so they can be tested in trials and delivered quickly to improve patient outcomes.”
These four projects follow the launch of the COVID-19 Supply Hub. In partnership with the Province of B.C., the Supercluster and industry developed a Hub that allows suppliers of critical supplies such as masks, gowns and ventilators, to be connected with health authorities across the province and dispatch needed supplies quickly.
The Supercluster has also worked with its Members and project teams to deploy some of its earlier projects to solve COVID-19 problems. For example, Careteam Technologies is enabling the delivery of precision health while empowering patients, and Providence Health Care is ensuring Canadians have access to the best tools for early diagnosis of disease, regardless of where they live.
Information about the COVID-19 Program can be found at www.digitalsupercluster.ca.
About Digital Technology Supercluster
The Digital Technology Supercluster is led by global companies such as MDA, Microsoft, Telus, Teck Resources Limited, Mosaic Forest Management, LifeLabs and Terramera, and tech industry leaders such as D-Wave Systems, Finger Food Advanced Technology Group, and LlamaZOO. Members also include BC’s post-secondary institutions such as Emily Carr University of Art + Design, British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. A full list of Members can be found here.
About the COVID-19 Program
The COVID-19 Program funds projects that contribute to improving the health and safety of Canadians, supporting Canada’s ability to address issues created by the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, these projects will build expertise and capacity to address and anticipate issues that may arise in future health crises.